Community theater’s “The Foreigner” promises laughs

The Hastings Community Theatre (HCT) has been hard at work the last four weeks on its production of Larry Shue’s comedy, “The Foreigner.”  The play offers audiences laughs as they watch the lead character, Charlie, pretend to be a foreigner.

“My character is the foreigner, and he has come to this fishing lodge in rural Georgia.  He’s actually from England…but he’s a very introverted and shy type of a guy, and doesn’t like to talk or be around people,” said Patrick Crawford.  “His friend [Froggy],who brought him over from England, came over for a job to do, so he leaves [my character] alone in the fishing lodge among other people, so he’s very terrified because he’s going to be by himself.  His friend makes up a story that he’s a foreigner and he doesn’t know English.”

From there, hilarity ensues as Charlie overhears things his peers only reveal to him because they believe he cannot understand them.

“The strongest thing about ‘The Foreigner’ is that it takes an ensemble group of people who have no real connection to one another.  They don’t really like one other; they are all kind of miserable and grumpy,” said Berice Rosenberg, director.  “This foreigner comes in and, because of how he is and because [the others] think that he doesn’t understand English, they all begin to tell him their secrets.  Through that process of him helping them…they become nicer, smarter and more complete.”

The production started immediately following HCT’s production of “Evil Dead: The Musical.”  Due to the prior production’s schedule, “The Foreigner” was faced with the challenge of a shorted production time.

“HCT had scheduled ‘Evil Dead’ late in August as the summer show to coincide with Hastings College.  Normally, we would have started it the first of August, but we were unable to start until ‘Evil Dead’ was finished,” Rosenberg said.  “Normally when I direct a show I have six-week rehearsal time from the first read through to opening night.  This particular time we only had four weeks, so it was all crammed together.”

Despite the crunched time schedule, all of the pieces of the show fell into place.  Each of the actors involved hope the showing successfully entertain the audience through humor and storytelling.

“I hope they have a good time and have a lot of laughs, because the show does contain a lot of laughter.  We hope they’ll enjoy it in that respect,” Crawford said.

Berice mirrors her actors, setting a goal to take audience’s minds off their worries as they partake in a night of entertainment.

“It’s an opportunity for people from Adams County and surrounding areas and forget about their troubles — whether its money problems or relationship problems or just their day to day worries — and just come, sit back, enjoy and laugh,” Rosenberg said.

“The Foreigner” enters its second and final week on the HCT stage this weekend, Oct. 14-16. Tickets can be reserved online at hct.org.

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